gopher tortoise
Jerry Cutlip
Lee County Parks and Recreation

Hickey's Creek original acreage was acquired using funds paid by developers through the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Mitigation Park Program. The program is designed to compensate for tortoise habitat lost to development elsewhere in southwest Florida. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is responsible for the resource management of the area; activities are directed toward the restoration and maintenance of critical habitats to the long-term benefit of state and federally listed upland species, particularly the gopher tortoise and Florida scrub-jay and to preserve the hydrology and water quality of Hickey's Creek. Roller chopping of dense palmetto stands and prescribed burning maintain the herbaceous groundcover favored by the gopher tortoise. Burning regimes help to maintain the scrub character of the flatwoods for the Florida scrub-jay. Open sand areas, used by scrub jays for caching acorns, have been created by rotor tilling. Lee County provides funding and staffing for the operation of recreational facilities, boundary protection, environmental education and the control of exotic vegetation such as melaleuca and Brazilian pepper.

FWC Facts:
Wood stork nestlings are fully feathered and capable of short flights at about 7-8 weeks of age but are not independent of their parents until they are 9-10 weeks old.

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